With its 525 thousand population Ryazan is the 3rd largest city in Central Russia after Moscow and Yaroslavl. Neither the size nor the proximity to Moscow (200 km) helps to upgrade the city's image: Ryazan is totally provincial.
As an industrial center and a transport hub, Ryazan is not a major tourist destination. But its history and several attractions make the city a good solution for a weekend escape from Moscow.
The city was founded in 1095 AD, but its initial site was completely destroyed by Mongols in 1237 - Ryazan was the first obstacle on their way of conquering Russia. Years after the new Ryazan was built few dozen kilometers away from the destroyed site.
Ryazan's local small airport Turlatovo doesn't operate regular flights and is being used for small aircraft and training. So, the closest air terminals are Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo of Moscow. From those airports Ryazan can be accessed by train, by bus, or by car/taxi.
Ryazan is an important transit rail hub. There are 2 train terminals in the city (Ryazan-1 and Ryazan-2). Most trains proceed to the east and arrive at the larger Ryazan-1 terminal, while those going to the south stop at Ryazan-2.
An ordinary ride by elektrichka from Moscow's Kazansky Rail Terminal (Казанский вокзал) takes almost 4 hours and costs 320 RUR (one way).
A faster and more comfortable option is to take an express train from the same terminal. The ride takes a little less than 3 hours, the cost depends on the class of the car. There are 3 express trains daily, going in the early morning, midday and evening.
From Moscow buses to Ryazan departure from Vykhino (Выхино) metro station. The buses leave 1-2 times per hour starting from 6-30 AM to 7-30 PM. The price is comparable with elektrichka, or even cheaper. Other destinations accessible by bus from Ryazan include:
The Central bus terminal of Ryazan is located out of the city center, so you will probably need to get around by local bus, trolleybus, or a taxi. There is also the second and less-importnant Prioksky terminal, serving bus routes to suburbs, e.g. Solotcha.
Ryazan is about 200 km from Moscow by M5 federal road. As elsewhere in Russia, the road conditions differ greatly from a 4-lines highway to narrow bottle-necks with usual traffic-jams. Depending on traffic situation the way from Moscow may take from 2 to 6 hours (beware Friday evenings and Saturday mornings in the summer).
Kremlin of Ryazan, . The city's major architectural attraction with a number of old churches and a very beautiful cathedral. Kremlin is located at a high river bank, and you can enjoy an amazing view from it. The city center here changes into the rural floodplain of the Oka river. There are several museums and exhibitions inside the kremlin, you can also buy local souvenirs there.free access to the territory, charge 50-100 RUR for the entrance to museum exhibitions. edit
Ivan Pavlov's Museum. The museum of a famous Russian physiologist, Nobel-prize winneredit
Art Museum. Good collection in an old beautiful building. A lot of good paintings, not typical for regional museums in Russia.edit
Drama Theater - beautiful old building
Puppet Theater - prize winning director Valeriy Shadskiy
Lovech Hotel, Dimitrov square, 4 (Next to the train-station Ryazan-2.), ☎ +7 (4912) 93-69-00 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 (4912) 92-70-07), . The largest hotel in the city, but a bit out of the center. Next door to Ryazan-2 train station. Renovated in 2005. wi-fi. Staff may be expected to speak some English.edit
Priokskaya. Cosy small hotel right next to the Kremlin on a quiet street in the center. Bar and billiards on the 1st floor. Staff may be expected to speak English.edit